When talking about Callaway irons, their history and legacy, there is only one place to start - with the iconic X-Series. The humble beginnings of the X-12 brought amazing (and ground-breaking) technology to market, to the X-24 Hot which brought an end to the franchise after 20 years of research and development. The series was so iconic the technology first seen in X-Series irons is still being evolved and built into Callaway irons today. Undercut cavities, for example, are always being developed are now a permanent feature of game improvement irons.
Although the X-24 brought an end to this naming convention, Callaway continued to use ‘X’ in future models within the game improvement category. Models such as Steelhead XR, X-Series, X-Hot, and RAZR X all feature the same benefits the original family of ‘X’ products featured.
While looking at second-hand Callaway irons and their technology, there is one stand out from recent years; the introduction Face Cup technology. Instead of welding a flat face to the body, the facepiece wraps over the top and bottom edge to create a flexible rim around the perimeter. This wrapping allows the face to flex more at impact to promote fast ball speeds on a more substantial proportion of the face. Further refinement allowed engineers at Callaway to bring this technology into their better player irons for all the benefits without compromising the feel and playability these players demand. The first edition of this was in the Callaway Apex Pro irons for 2019 and expected to see it featuring in this category going forward.
The wider Apex iron family is Callaway’s top tier in terms of performance. Their combination of aesthetics and performance have made them a real favourite on the PGA Tour and European Tour. The Apex family features three different models - the standard Apex CF19, Apex Pro, and Apex MB.
Like all of their products Callaway irons get full use on Tour with Major winners such as Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, and Sergio Garcia all playing Callaway irons. One model, in particular, sees a lot of Tour use is the X-Forged. Now in its third generation, this model is a favourite with Callaway staff players who like its simple design and excellent performance. Look out for the 2008 X Forged irons for a real bargain.
As well as evolving past success stories, Callaway is not afraid to give its research and development team a blank sheet to create. The result of this approach is usually some costly but ground-breaking irons. With this in mind, pay attention to RRPs as this will let you know what you’d have been paying at launch.
Whatever you’re after Callaway is a company that will have something for you, regardless of budget and ability.